• Amtrak ALC-42 Procurement (Long-Distance LD Charger Variant)

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

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  by WesternNation
 
Stephen B. Carey wrote:It honestly boggles my mind why we don't use DMU's more in the US. After being on many different units in both Ireland and England, they seem like a comfortable reliable way to travel. I know we had issues with the RDC's, and more importantly the SPV's but why can we use proven off the shelf technology from Siemens or Alstom that is alreay in use? It is exactly what we are doing with the new Acela, why couldn't work over here. The New Haven to Springfield line would be a great place for these units.

Feel free to rebuke my statements, maybe there is something I am missing.
We don’t use DMUs because the FRA mandates higher coupler strength than the Europeans do, meaning that the lightweight models in use in Europe can’t operate here without a special waiver, which seems to be more trouble than they’re worth, considering Amtrak’s never tried it before now.

There are some European models in service, but they’re on closed circuits (no freight traffic), so they’re essentially light rail units. I doubt they’ll be used for Chicago-Quincy or any existing corridor service out of Chicago because the Chargers were ordered with the current services in mind and replacing the old equipment with new. If Amtrak was planning on expanding the Zephyr and Sandburg and other services, then maybe it could happen, but regulatory hurdles need to be jumped before it happens. We’ll know more if/when an RFP or RFQ is issued for DMUs/integrated sets.
  by SRich
 
In the most of Europ DMU's and some EMU's has also restrictions on main lines, because they are too light compared to normal heavy trains giving problems to detect (track circuit) the train in a block. special measurements are needed like axle counters,speciale trackcircuits (called in dutch prikspanning spoorstroomlopen, that is trackcircuits with high voltage) ore radio based GSM-R with Train integrity module so track based system are no longer needed
  by WesternNation
 
Not sure if anyone else noticed but the RFP for locomotives has been removed from Amtrak’s procurement site. I think it still had a month to go before it expired.
  by frequentflyer
 
I thought it ended at the end of this month.

https://media.amtrak.com/2018/06/amtrak ... ive-fleet/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Maybe the decision has been made. It isn't like Siemens was not the leading candidate unless one expected GE EVOs on the front of LD trains.
  by WesternNation
 
frequentflyer wrote:I thought it ended at the end of this month.

https://media.amtrak.com/2018/06/amtrak ... ive-fleet/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Maybe the decision has been made. It isn't like Siemens was not the leading candidate unless one expected GE EVOs on the front of LD trains.
It’s quite possible it ended this month...I probably just read the date wrong.

Hopefully we’ll know soon. With the quagmire that GE Transportation is in right now and the fact that the F125 isn’t too popular...Siemens seems to be the real choice to get it done.
  by frequentflyer
 
It is a shame the F125 has had so many issues. CAT/EMD could have used the order, and would be nice to see an EMD on the headend of Amtrak trains again.
  by DutchRailnut
 
with EMD having gone non-union that would be hard push.

GE has not shown much of interest in passenger diesels lately, this could change under Wabco but I doubt it.
  by NeedhamLine
 
NeedhamLine wrote: The NGEC (PRIIA) May minutes indicate that an RFI for new passenger cars is forthcoming from Amtrak - I wouldn't be surprised if that is tomorrow's RFI.
FYI, the June 27 RFI also related to trainsets - although they are not specifically listed as DMUs, but rather "Propelled and Non-Propelled Trainset Options suitable for operation in Amtrak’s railroad environment." In my mind, that leaves the door open for fixed-consist locomotive-hauled trainsets like the sets that Siemens produced for Brightline and will be producing for Caltrans (which feature a cab car and semi-permanent coupling). The link is at: https://procurement.amtrak.com/irj/port ... 1cc142f8cc" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by WesternNation
 
NeedhamLine wrote:
NeedhamLine wrote: The NGEC (PRIIA) May minutes indicate that an RFI for new passenger cars is forthcoming from Amtrak - I wouldn't be surprised if that is tomorrow's RFI.
FYI, the June 27 RFI also related to trainsets - although they are not specifically listed as DMUs, but rather "Propelled and Non-Propelled Trainset Options suitable for operation in Amtrak’s railroad environment." In my mind, that leaves the door open for fixed-consist locomotive-hauled trainsets like the sets that Siemens produced for Brightline and will be producing for Caltrans (which feature a cab car and semi-permanent coupling). The link is at: https://procurement.amtrak.com/irj/port ... 1cc142f8cc" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Don’t forget, Siemens is also producing non-cab-car trainsets for IDOT. They’ll be a lot like the Brightline consists, but longer than four cars (I believe MI line consists are at least 6).
  by NeedhamLine
 
WesternNation wrote:

Don’t forget, Siemens is also producing non-cab-car trainsets for IDOT. They’ll be a lot like the Brightline consists, but longer than four cars (I believe MI line consists are at least 6).
As I recall, the IDOT cars are single cars, with a few semi-permanently coupled pairs - Amtrak could certainly take that route as well. Amtrak also put out a press release yesterday relating to the RFI - see https://media.amtrak.com/2018/06/amtrak ... equipment/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (I believe this was mentioned in the DMU thread). Sounds like they are essentially asking manufacturers to pitch them their latest passenger equipment, whether DMU/EMU, fixed consist sets or individual cars. Interesting that the headline mentions they are "in pursuit" of "proven equipment" - that gives Siemens a significant head start.
  by WesternNation
 
NeedhamLine wrote:
WesternNation wrote:

Don’t forget, Siemens is also producing non-cab-car trainsets for IDOT. They’ll be a lot like the Brightline consists, but longer than four cars (I believe MI line consists are at least 6).
As I recall, the IDOT cars are single cars, with a few semi-permanently coupled pairs - Amtrak could certainly take that route as well. Amtrak also put out a press release yesterday relating to the RFI - see https://media.amtrak.com/2018/06/amtrak ... equipment/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (I believe this was mentioned in the DMU thread). Sounds like they are essentially asking manufacturers to pitch them their latest passenger equipment, whether DMU/EMU, fixed consist sets or individual cars. Interesting that the headline mentions they are "in pursuit" of "proven equipment" - that gives Siemens a significant head start.
This is an data excerpt from the NGEC PowerPoint regarding the purchase of the cars.

CalTrans:
21 Mid Coach Cars
7 End Coach Cars coupled to Locomotive
7 Mid Coach Cars with Wheelchair Lifts
7 Cab Cars
7 Café Cars

Total: 49

IDOT:
20 Indivudual Coaches
34 Coach Cars for Business or Café Married Pair
17 Business/Econ
17 Café

Total: 88

According to the diagram, the 34 “Coach for Business or Café Married Pair indicates Coach Cars with your standard knuckle coupled on one end and the other end will be semi permanently married with either a Café or a Business car. I’d imagine the entire consist would look something like this:

Locomotive—Individual Coach—Econ/Business—Business/Café—Individual Coach—Locomotive

The above is assuming that the Café cars listed intend to be one half of a married pair and aren’t individual. It would be logical to keep the business class parts of the married pair together and then have economy radiating from other side and the Café in the middle.

Here’s the link to the PowerPoint for those who want it:
http://www.highspeed-rail.org/Documents ... ation.pptx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And for the record: I do agree that given the wording of the Amtrak press release, Siemens has a significant advantage here.
  by DutchRailnut
 
ok ok, lets not get RFP for locomotives , confused with RFI for new Coaches .
  by eolesen
 
Agree, but I think those of us following the Midwest/Caltrans orders all knew that it would be setting the defacto standard for any decisions on new cars and locomotives for corridors and medium distance routes. This seems to confirm that.
  by mdvle
 
WesternNation wrote:Amtrak has closed the RFP for new locomotives and issued an RFI for “integrated trainsets/DMUs”. Companies are invited to sign up for a 90 minute meeting with Amtrak leadership in DC to pitch their product. Amtrak gave the following specs:

1. 79-110 miles per hour (MPH) capable, with provisions for a 125 MPH option for operation on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.
2. 85’ maximum length per car
3. 165,000 pounds as maximum weight per car
4. A minimum seating capacity of 60 seats

A second RFI is being issued on Wednesday.
Sounds like Amtrak has decided to be influenced by VIA's fleet renewal which has similar requirements and has moved on to a RFP with Siemens, Bombardier, Stadler and Talgo all qualified to submit proposals to VIA by Oct 5th.

Given that the VIA program is fully funded by the Canadian Government there will by fully specified out FRA standard designs available for Amtrak to consider the proposals also get forwarded to Amtrak.
  by WesternNation
 
mdvle wrote:

Sounds like Amtrak has decided to be influenced by VIA's fleet renewal which has similar requirements and has moved on to a RFP with Siemens, Bombardier, Stadler and Talgo all qualified to submit proposals to VIA by Oct 5th.

Given that the VIA program is fully funded by the Canadian Government there will by fully specified out FRA standard designs available for Amtrak to consider the proposals also get forwarded to Amtrak.
I could see Stadler doing something with their coaches for the RFI, but I'm not sure if DMUs are practical on anything except commuter runs. Even then, I'm not sure how durable they are, considering the article I read indicates that the FRA's Alternative Tier I regs are to lower the standards for DMUs.
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